I’m a transwoman and my co-writer, a positive woman, are working on a project detailing how society treats members of the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities at the various stages of our journeys. A few years ago, I spoke with a psychologist at CAMH in Toronto who thought such a book would be a great benefit to them in their work.
We have our own experiences to draw on, but would like to hear other people’s experiences. No names will be used in this and any submissions will be checked to remove any clues that might give away your location. For example, if a submission from Toronto refers to “streetcars”, that would be replaced with the term “public transit” and any route names or number removed. Additionally, specific cities will be removed and replaced with either the name of your province or state, or a more generic term such as “midwest” will be substituted. We will do everything we can to protect your identity.
We both have friends in the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities, so can call upon them for information, but that would be quite localized in scope. We need to hear from others, not just in Canada, but from anywhere. We especially would like to hear from transmen, for their experiences would no doubt be much different from my own. If you have generally found acceptance, great! Please tell us for that may give those just starting their new lives hope that things will get better. If you’ve experienced discrimination, or worse, please share that as well. Others need to know what pitfalls and danger may await them. Either way, we would like to share your story.
If you are willing to share your journey, you can send it to us at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Please remember the “1″ at the start of the address as the address without the numeral is taken.
It’d obviously been a long hard winter in more places than southern Ontario judging by some of the articles in various publications recently. I say that because sundry politicians, would-be politicians and ordinary citizens seem to have taken leave of their senses and
aimed their paranoia at the LGBT communities.
Where to start?
I suppose overseas is as good a starting point as any. Today I read an article in Pink News UK about a caller to a radio show somewhere in England. This person is of the opinion that bisexual people are giving people HIV/AIDS with the aim (intended or not, he didn’t say) of destroying the white race. Umm, I have several problems with this pronouncement. First is the assumption that all bisexual people are positive. Second is the supposition that only white people would be affected or would be involved with someone who is bi. As any intelligent person knows, HIV/AIDS knows no racial boundaries; respects no variations of the gender rainbow. It seems to be a case of someone adapting an unusual and unpopular stance strictly for the attention. He can’t really believe that crap he spouted, can he?
And now we call the bathroom police. I think it is Texas that has passed, or is discussing, a bill that would make it illegal for a trans* person to use a washroom that differs from their genetic gender. So even though all my documents show me as “female” I could be charged should I go to the ladies’ room. And apparently the building manager could be fined and jailed if they permit a trans* person to use the restroom agreeing with their presentation. Since the L and G part of the LGBT acronym appear to have won some major victories, it seems to have become open season on trans* and bisexual people.
Finally, California (where else?). Some lawyer has filed papers and the $200 fee, and is now trying to get the 365,000 signatures needed to have added to the ballot a proposition that homosexuality be banned and punishable by death. According to this lawyer, doing so would avert God’s wrath from the state of California. I think that last statement is very telling of this person’s views and a good indicator of from where this idea sprung.
As much as I try to stay positive, I must admit I despair of ever seeing a day when LGBT people are treated as people, rather than aberrations or freaks. And the more I see of things like the three incidents I mentioned above I feel that day may never happen. In today’s society, we have freedom of expression and can express ourselves in any manner we choose, within legal limits of course. Only the small-mindedness of mainstream society prevents us from so doing.